You are here:

Interspecies Conflict/Interspecies Conflict

Advertisement


Question
Greetings again BK,how are things going,things are great here in reno.So here are some more animal questions.

1.How much does a blue whale weigh?

2.If great white sharks lived with walrus would they prey on them?

3.If kodiak bears were shifted to Africa how successful would they be at hunting?I know they could hunt zebra,wildebeest,and other small antelopes,although they would definetly struggle with cape buffalo and I know they cant hunt rhinos,elephants,hippos,or giraffes.Also how would they do in competition with large African predators lions,hyenas,crocodiles,leopards,and African wild dogs?

4.giraffe vs hippo?

5.lets say a gorilla troop came in contact with a black rhino,would there be any conflict?

6.cape buffalo vs 30 ft green anaconda?

Thank You

Answer
Hello Trish.  Everything's OK here.


Q: How much does a blue whale weigh?
A: A blue whale can weigh up to 176 tons.  

Q: If great white sharks lived with walrus would they prey on them?
A: Yes.  Subadult walruses would be targeted; adult walruses can pose much greater risk (the 3ft tusks can seriously injure a shark).  Great white sharks utilize ambush, usually attacking from below to deliver a bite before retreating to a safe distance until the prey expires.  Walruses have tough hides, but this hide can be breached by the shark's massive bite & razor-sharp teeth.  Great white sharks prey on large seals quite often, and any pinniped introduced in their range would be a potential prey item.

Q: If kodiak bears were shifted to Africa how successful would they be at hunting?  I know they could hunt zebra, wildebeest, and other small antelopes, although they would definitely struggle with cape buffalo and I know they cant hunt rhinos, elephants, hippos, or giraffes.  Also how would they do in competition with large African predators lions, hyenas, crocodiles, leopards, and African wild dogs?
A: The Kodiak bear would have trouble in Africa for several reasons.  Their thick, furry coats are perfect for cold weather and cold water, and the African heat would be unbearable.  Kodiak bears eat a great deal of fish (and berries), and this food would not be as readily available to them in many areas of Africa.  Hunting the variety of fleet-footed animals on the savannah (zebra, wildebeest, etc.) would be problematic without having the cover to ambush them, and the animals you mentioned (Cape buffalo, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, etc.) and others would be difficult/impossible prey if full-grown.  Prides of lions and clans of hyenas would be able to cause major problems for it by driving it away from kills and quite possibly attacking it.  Leopards would leave it alone, and African wild dogs might harrass it.  Living in an area with plenty of water would be paramount, and this would likely lead to conflicts with hippos and crocodiles.  The Kodiak bear would need to avoid areas with hippos, and be wary when at the water's edge with large crocodiles about.  Living in a forest-like habitat (like where gorillas live or like those found in areas of Madagascar, for example) would be better for the Kodiak bear than the savannah due to more vegetation, but it still would not be completely ideal.  Without an abundance of rivers (hippo & crocodile free), streams, trees, and mountainous regions, the Kodiak bear probably won't fare well.  It is a powerful predator that can hold its own in many situations, but it will be out of its element in many areas of Africa.  Even with the climate nonwithstanding, the Kodiak bear would need a long time to adapt its hunting/feeding methods to do well in Africa.

giraffe vs hippo: The hippo will weigh about 50% more than the giraffe, and its shoulder height will be about 1' below the giraffe's belly.  Giraffes are typically peaceful creatures, and usually attempt to run from danger.  However, when forced to defend themselves (usually from lions), they can kick strongly with their hooves (kicks from the back legs are especially powerful).  Hippopotamuses have large jaws with imposing canines, and these sharp-edged teeth can cause serious wounds to any opponent.  Hippos can be very aggressive & territorial in or near water, but aren't as comfortable when completely on land.  Although they are capable of quick bursts of speed on land, they don't have the greatest mobility or stamina there.  A giraffe is capable of seriously injuring a hippopotamus with a well-placed kick, but it will likely give way to a hippo determined to rumble.  A hippo's jaws will be a threat to the giraffe's extremities, but attempting a bite will put its head in range of the giraffe's offense.  Both can win, but the likely scenario will have the aggressive hippo bullying the more docile giraffe into a retreat (they will normally coexist peacefully, though).  A giraffe infused with unnatural ill will toward the hippo would have a good chance of repelling it with kicks, but as is it won't have that kind of determination.  Overall edge to hippo.

Q: Lets say a gorilla troop came in contact with a black rhino, would there be any conflict?
A: It's very unlike any conflict would arise.  Both are herbivores, and would have no interest in one another.  A black rhinoceros might make the gorillas scatter if it decides to boldly move where they are (they can be aggressive, but are usually wary), but they will likely cross paths peacefully.  A black rhinoceros has nothing to fear from a troop of gorillas, and a black rhino will usually only charge at what it perceives as a threat.  If a black rhinoceros gets angry or aggressive near a troop of gorillas, they will likely take to the trees or otherwise avoid the larger animal until the situation passes.

Cape buffalo vs 30ft green anaconda: A 30ft green anaconda will weigh less than the Cape buffalo, but not by a great deal (probably not much more than 1/2).  Anacondas are great ambush predators, but are poor face-to-face fighters on land due to limited mobility/stamina.  Cape buffaloes are rugged bovids with thick curved horns.  They are combative; regularly dealing with lions and commonly holding their own.  The anaconda won't be able to easily coil the Cape buffalo while on land, and can be injured by the bovid's hooves.  In water the anaconda will have a much better chance, as its mobility/stamina will be much greater.  While the anaconda may get into a decent position to wrap its coils around the buffalo, killing it will be a problem due to its size.  The placement of the coils will matter; squeezing the stouter parts of the herbivore's body might not result in suffocation.  It's unlikely this anaconda will attempt an attack because it won't be able to swallow an animal the weight of an adult Cape buffalo (can weigh 680kg and greater).  Overall edge to Cape buffalo.


Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


BK

Expertise

Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.

Experience

From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Education/Credentials
Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.